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Despite new silicon, 802.11ax isn't coming to the enterprise for a while

Jon Gold | Aug. 17, 2017
The release of 802.11ax chipsets by Broadcom, Qualcomm and others doesn't mean that standardised gear will be ready for everyday use soon, experts say

“There’s not a network in the world that’s shrinking, I’m sure,” said Mathias.

And while the technology has been around for some time, mu-MIMO is only recently getting to market. It requires both endpoint and AP to be 802.11ac wave 2-capable, but there are very few compliant smartphone and laptop endpoints on the market.

Typically, a lack of compatible endpoints is a bigger brake on the adoption of a new wireless standard than a lack of access points, according to Kerravala.

“Once the chip’s released it’s a long cycle from there – it’s usually a few months before we see the first consumer products,” he said. “After that it’s a few months before we see the first enterprise ones, and then it’s maybe even six more months to a year before we start seeing client devices.”

Mathias said that 802.11ax is going to be a successful technology, but it’s just not going to happen overnight.

“All I’m saying is it’s going to take longer than it has in the past for that standard to really become well-established in the marketplace,” he said.


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